You’re wallowing in one right now – reading a daily column instead of digging a ditch or hoeing a furrow in a field. I’m occupied in one as I write.
With my other columns I indulge myself with scale model building and photography. Neither of these feeds me or clothes me, but I still have a good pantry and a closet full of comfortable garments.
The real luxury I enjoy is time to do these things without having them encroach upon each other. I must learn to manage that time as I might manage a large fortune. Whether that means investing or spending wisely is a matter of debate.
Luxury had a bad name in the old days when those who had it wanted to make sure they kept it from those who didn’t. They invented sumptuary laws and fines to keep the lower classes from enjoying the same things that the upper classes did. They also used prisons and gallows to make this social point.
Then in the 20th century it became first fashionable and then necessary to have luxury. If you did not experience it you were deprived. And you were generally not allowed to decide what luxury was – this was dictated to you by an advertising firm. You could purchase it, but at their price. If you got it free you had to hand it back.
Fortunately we are in the 21st century, and have been for 21 years, and can slide around and get our own luxuries. Those of us who are retired have luxurious time. We may be low on the big salaries of the working years but we can often substitute happiness for prestige. Some of the sneakier of us keep this secret and just enjoy ourselves when everyone else is at work.